Tuesday, August 17, 2010

909 Wake up Call

photo by GTLuke

909 wake up call at 2:03 a.m.: stomach cramps. Later in the morning I had them as well. I thought things were under control, so with no food eaten since my 5:30 breakfast, I lined up to race at 1:00 p.m. Start got delayed, and I may have cooled down too much. Sounds familiar, right? I got dropped off the start and by the time I caught back up to the last rider, stomach cramps set in again. I do get them on occasion, and I back off a tad and they go away in 5 minutes. I catch back, no problem. Unfortunately, This time they went for 15 minutes and got really bad. Plus some of the ladies are getting stronger, and pixy is getting older, so catching back up is getting harder.

I was backed off to a crawl in the twisty single track after the road climb. The twists nearly made me dizzy. Then everyone was out of site, and I was by myself … the last rider. This was not a new feeling, as I spent the first 3 years as a Cat 1 racer being the last rider on course. I just had not been there in awhile.

I had a moment of feeling sorry for myself and wanted to stop, but I thought about the ladies that were not lucky enough to race that day: Jocelyn, Stacey and Rebecca, and I found the will to pedal through some stomach cramps, even if it was slow. My thinking is: a slow day on the bike is way better than a day on the couch. Then I hit a fast downhill and spotted the first photographer, Luke and I felt distracted enough from the pain to let it go from my mind. The drops were next, with all their excitement and some much appreciated cheering, and I was able to regain my composure on the big climb. The descent that followed was amazing fun and seemed to go on forever. By the time I got to the anthills (yes the course wound through a series of anthills), the cramps were gone, and I reeled in my first rider. From there on, the race went well and I passed 4-5 more riders and pulled myself up to 4th place.

I am so pleased with my new Titus X. This is my second race on her, and the suspension is slightly more active than the Racer-X, and allows the rear tire to hug the ground in the most technical terrain. The Fox 15mm fork is also another big improvement. I did not think I would notice these upgrades, but they are instantly noticeable. I don’t know if I could have sailed down those rutted descents with such ease on the old bike. The bike rides like a rocket ship. I also really like the Sram XX 2x10 drive train. Besides dropping a pound off my bike, the stuff works flawlessly and seems to have all the gears you need. I find, I can stay in the big ring for much of the races, but may need to rethink my shifting rhythms. The X is now my favorite bike in the stable, and a great all around XC bike.

An uncommon site to see a smile on pixy's face when there is air under the tires. I must really be trusting my bike these days, rolling a 6 ft drop without even a finger on the brake lever. ...photo by John Coog

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